Monday, July 08, 2013

Give Yourself to the Timeless Hunger of the Human Spirit

Playing on the worship team in Wisconsin

I'm now reading Luther Smith's Howard Thurman: The Mystic as Prophet. Thurman has been a significant influence on my life. I remember, in 1982-1984, as I prayed yearly through A Guide to Prayer for Ministers and Other Servants (the best spiritual-devotional guide ever for pastors and Christian leaders), encountering quotes from Thurman. I wondered, "Who is this deep person I've never met before?"

I began to pick up Thurman's books. His Jesus and the Disinherited probably makes my Top 10 List as one of the best books I have ever read.

One of the influences on Thurman's spiritual life was theologian George Cross. Regarding Cross Thurman writes: "Everything about me was alive when I came into his presence. He was all stimulus and I was all response." (In Smith, 22)

Just before Thurman graduated from seminary Cross said to him:

"All social questions are temporary questions. They are part of the total growth of the race to maturity. If a man's energy goes into social problems, when that is no longer relevant his work is done. You, Howard Thurman, should address yourself to the timeless hunger of the human spirit. Doing so, your greatest capacities will be released." (Ib., 29, emphasis mine)

Yes. That's it for me, too. Because the deeper we go in the human heart the more we are all the same.